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Fred Allen

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Fred Allen

Radio shows featuring Fred Allen. Read about Fred Allen's career on wikipedia at


Files donated by Bert Szoghy


Reviewer: AncientAxim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 13, 2017
Subject: One year continuous listening? You bet
There are many OTR comedy shows but in my opinion no one comes close to Allen. American Scholar magazine June 01 2007 wrote: " Intellectuals loved Allen, as did his peers in comedy. Radio rival Edgar Bergen acknowledged him as “the greatest living comedian." Fred Allen was the favorite of college-age guys and girls and the hip crowd. Allen had on the best, most gifted swing bands. Hearing his theatre audience you get an idea of the immense crowds his shows gathered. For new listeners I would start in the mid-1940s until you understand his humor, then maybe the early stuff or else you will get turned off. Listen to the early to mid 1930s at the very last. I do have two accounts at Archive so the other long review giving it five stars is also from me. Thanks for having these on here, I don't know what I would be listening to at night otherwise.
Reviewer: kristinmak - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 20, 2016
Subject: These are great
Haven't any complaints on the quality or lack of it in these files, they are good enough to listen to.
Fred Allen is absolutely hilarious. I often find myself giggling many times while I listen. The humor is surreal and pretty good, reminds one of Mark Twain's humor at times. I will bet some won't "get" his jokes as some of them are topical but those who are OTR lovers will not have a problem.
One Long Pan puts me into fits as it's too funny for words, especially when the Chinese detective character demands to hear an alibi from some non-animate object in the room, such as a microphone stand or a corpse. Then he will add in some ad-lib wit or whatnot into it that just is a scream. I doubt they would allow this character in the entertainment industry as being "yellow face" well to be honest in those days NO ONE Complained about the character so there's that then. Good stuff and Fred Allen is my comedy du jour every day this week and it is well worth listening especially those who need a good laugh.
Reviewer: fashawks8 - favoritefavorite - February 14, 2013
Subject: Right On Feekie
Fred Allen's shows have aged terribly. The written jokes are so predictable and unfunny. I do think his ad-libs are funny sometimes, but its honestly hard for me to get through an entire episode to hear that many.
Reviewer: feekie - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 22, 2011
Subject: Not as Funny as Jack Benny
While I'll no doubt be in the minority here, I am not a big fan of Fred Allen. I have tried to like him, and a few of his shows were funny -- specifically the ones with Henry Morgan and Oscar Levant. They were hilarious, but too many of Fred's programs are just too corny -- like sketches with Portland. The only person I like in Allen's Alley is Mrs. Nussbaum. She was funny! While JB's humor stood the test of time, Allen's sounds dated. I don't like how he supposedly ad-libs and then laughs at his own jokes. I don't think his ad-libs are funny. It is true that Fred refers to a lot of things happening at the time of the broadcast, so if you're listening mostly for it's historical value, then Fred is probably the better program. But for clever writing that is still funny today, I gotta go with Benny!
Reviewer: Dodsworth the Cat - - June 1, 2009
Subject: Alas
It's a shame the show labelled April 21, 1946 is the incorrect show. That was the week NBC cut Fred Allen off the air for making fun of a network vice-president, as related in his book Treadmill to Oblivion. The Associated Press reported April 22, 1946 that Red Skelton and Bob Hope were faded out by the network that evening for daring to comment on what happened.
Reviewer: davidinberkeley - - August 14, 2008
Subject: Corrections/Clarifications
is 1947-12-28_-_Monty_Wooley_-_Returning_a_Clock.mp3

Is 1946-03-03 (60) Chicken Surplus

Is 1948-11-07_-_ArthurTreacher-SamShovel.mp3

Is 1947-03-23_-_Rodgers__Hammerstein_-_Picadilly_II.mp3

Is Command Performance 460421

Is 1948-04-11BasilRathbone-OneLongPan.mp3

Is 1939-10-11 Satire on Surveys and Polls

Is 1942-10-18 (3) Les Miserables (AFRS rebroadcast)

Is 1999-10-23 WNIB Chicago Those Were the Days(excerpt only – no Allen content)

ADDED 8/5/08

is Bing Crosby Show 500208 21 Guest - Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa

is Living 1949 49/01/30 5 The State of American Humor

is Fred Allen Show 451007 40 Auditions

is Fred Allen Show 410312 23 Philanda Blank - My Story

is Biography in Sound 56/05/29 50 Fred Allen

640318_Today Show Salute_to_.mp3
is an audio recording of the NBC television show

is Fred Allen Show 46/01/20 54 A Movie on Fred Allen's Life

ADDED 8/13/08

Is Philco_Hall_of_Fame_1945-03-25 69 The Strange Case Of Robert Rappaport

Is 1945-12-16 50 Seeking a Radio Job
Reviewer: nightkey5 - - September 21, 2007
Subject: Misdated Shows
43-02-08 Phil Baker should be dated 43-02-28 Phil Baker

43-04-04 Jimmy Durante (Looking for Umbragio) was actually 44-01-23 Jimmy Durante. First question in Allen's Alley is 'How did the fish shortage bother you?' Allen mentions that Jimmy Durante is on the cover of Time Magazine. An internet reference shows January 24, 1944 as the date of that issue

43-12-12 Laurentz Melchior was actually 45-12-16 Lauritz Melchior. Kenny Delmar is the announcer which places the show Oct 1945 or later. The Allen's Alley question again places the date.

44-04-03 Oscar Levant should be dated and labeled 44-04-23 North Dakota

45-11-08 Boris Karloff Renting A Room should be dated 45-11-18

46-02-10 Orson Welles was 46-03-03

46-10-30 Bing Crosby should be dated 47-05-11 Bing Crosby
Reviewer: hess - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2007
Subject: Funnier then Jack Benny
Fred Allen was funnier then Jack Benny his bits like Allen's alley with Senator Beauregard Claghorn while Jack Benny had nothing like it
Reviewer: Pitt Cairn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2007
Subject: Fred Allen and American Wartime History

I collect old-time radio comedy. While the Jack Benny show is often recognized as having the best writers, I believe that the Fred Allen Show provides the best window into the America of his time. While Jack Benny's shows were about Jack Benny, Fred Allen typically dicussed the issues of the day, such as food shortages and gas rationing. If you want a good natured look at everyday America during WW II, Fred Allen is one of the best sources. Fibber McGee is another.
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